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Letters to the Editors

Just say no to hospital's relocation

© St. Petersburg Times,
published September 11, 2001


Editor: As a lifelong resident of Brooksville, I strongly encourage the County Commission to consider the long-term consequences of moving Brooksville Regional Hospital to the proposed site. Historic Brooksville is my home and the home of my husband's family for five generations. I cringe to think of the economic devastation the city will face if you allow Brooksville Regional Hospital to move away.

Please read between the lines of Hernando HealthCare CEO Tom Barb's slick, snake-oil-salesman presentation and just say "no."

No to his contradictory statements.

No to his false and misleading advertisement.

No to his hurry-up-and-cash-in-on-a-real-bargain deal.

No to his "relocation is not negotiable" tactic.

No to his "I'll take my money and go elsewhere" threat, and finally:

No to his "no-brainer" scheme.

I am an intelligent person and have been in business long enough to know that you follow the money line if you really want to know what or who is going to gain the most. If Mr. Barb's "no-brainer deal" is so good, then our elected commissioners should demand that the hospital be placed in a location that will benefit the entire county. Commissioners, please think long term for Hernando County; most zoning and planning choices are too short-sighted.

Make the right move the first time and serve all residents.

I'm sure that HMA has a Plan B and it includes a second, or even third, proposed location. Call Barb's bluff.
-- Judith L. Padgett, Brooksville

Short delay is better than years of regret

Editor: Facts, rumors and misinformation about the proposed hospital move:

I am an average resident of Hernando County. I attend some of the town meetings, homeowners meetings, neighborhood club meetings, AARP and NARFE. I read editorials, letters to the editor and most of the articles that appear in the local newspapers.

I don't recall reading or hearing anything about the proposal to move Brooksville Regional Hospital until shortly before Mr. Barb's presentation to the County Commission meeting June 5.

At that meeting, Mr. Barb did state that everything was negotiable except the location. However, from the public comments that day, it appeared that was the only real item of contention.

At that June 5 meeting during the public comment, I asked specifically, "What is the distance from the current location to the new one?" The answer was, "It is 11/2 miles." I then asked specifically, "Don't you mean it is 11/2 miles outside the Brooksville city limits?" The answer, "No, it is 11/2 miles from the current location to the new location." I said, "I'm glad to hear that because I understand if it is more than 3 miles, some sort of recertification is required."

At that meeting, neither Tom Barb nor any other official present ever corrected that misstatement. Of course, we now know the answers I received to my questions were absolutely false. How many other misstatements have been made? Was the answer to mine an isolated incident, or an example of an ongoing procedure of providing misinformation to further confuse the issues?

Remember, if our County Commission votes for the current proposal, it will affect our residents for the next 40-plus years. If they vote against it, we will still have the option of new proposals.

The need for a new hospital is a fact. Why should we be subjected to HMA's ultimatum? A few months delay is better than 40 years of regret.
-- Ronnie Minthorn, Brooksville

County should move hospital to new location

Editor: We are asking County Commissioners to please vote to move the hospital to the proposed site near Wiscon Road.

We have lived here since 1961 and have raised four children here. Every member of our family has been a patient one or more times.
-- Bob and Mary Frances Griffith, Brooksville

Trial showed horrors of drinking and driving

Editor: Re: Driver is found guilty in DUI trial, Aug. 24 Hernando Times:

I am a student at Central High School. In my English II honors class, we are learning about dignity and justice. This trial was a good example of what individuals can do if they believe something is unjust.

Drinking and driving is against the law. You should know before you step into a car drunk that you can end up taking your own or someone else's life.

The car wreck killed two young ladies, but it also destroyed four families. The Werners, Druzbicks and Smiths all suffered the loss of friends and family members. Robert Stires will spend at least 21 years of his life in prison. Is drinking really worth it? The families will put their lives back together as best they can. They know this will not bring their family members and friends back, but they feel it is something that needs to be done.
-- Megan Johnson, Brooksville

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